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Bonne Fête Nationale!

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photograph courtesy of TWITTER.COM/ARCDETRIOMPHE grand military parades along the Champs-Élysées.

Michèle Boccoz, Ambassador of France to the Philippines and to Micronesia, cited liberty, equality and fraternity as the democratic values that helped the modern French Republic rise when the French Revolution reached its pivotal stage on 14 July 1789.

The historic date, Bastille Day or 14 Juillet, recalls the afternoon when the people of Paris stormed the Bastille, a prison for political felons. Though originally built as a medieval fortress, Bastille had become a symbol of tyranny of the Bourbon monarchs.

The momentous downfall of the Bastille led to a decade-long political turmoil which resulted in the expulsion and execution of King Louis XVI and the deaths of thousands of people. His wife, Marie Antoinette, daughter of Maria Theresa and Holy Roman Emperor Francis I, were also guillotined nine months later.

Bastille Day is usually celebrated with bals des pompiers (an all-night soirée), grand military parades along the Champs Champs-Élysées and fireworks displays at the Eiffel Tower. An airshow, which painted the sky with the colors of the French flag, was held at the Grande Arche de la Défense.

According to thelocal.fr, a small celebration also took place at Place de la Concorde. It highlighted healthcare workers and all the other people engaged in the fight against Covid-19. The site added that spectators were required to wear a mask and show their health pass with proof of vaccination or a recent negative Covid test.

France and the Philippines will celebrate its 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations on 26 June 2022.

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